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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 69 (1985)

Issue: 2. (February)

First Page: 309

Last Page: 309

Title: Status of Underground Coal Gasification: ABSTRACT

Author(s): D. R. Stephens, R. W. Hill, I. Y. Borg

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Underground coal gasification appears to be one of the most attractive routes for synfuels from coal because the process can produce methanol and substitute natural gas at prices competitive with existing energy sources. The technical feasibility of underground coal gasification has been well established by small-scale field tests. Cost estimates based on the resultant data are favorable. The environmental effects associated with the technology appear to be acceptable. Successful commercialization of the process would probably triple the proven reserves of United States coal, which would be sufficient to last for hundreds of years.

At this stage of development, underground coal gasification is a high-risk technology and will remain so until large-scale field tests are successfully carried out. These tests are recommended by the Gas Research Institute and by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. A 7-yr program costing about $200 million would permit initial commercial production in 10 yr.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists